Dining By Debbie

If I Had Created a Bucket List!

Learn how to make these delicious cream pies!

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DATE: MARCH 4, 2017 @ 11:00 AM



If I had created a bucket list…this day would be pretty close to the top of that list!

I’m living the dream. To make it even better, at the age of 60!

What is so remarkable about this is there are many companies that won’t even give you a second thought after you reach 50 let alone 60! Seriously I know people that have been let go from a job because they’re older. How sad is that to be kicked to the curb just because you hit a certain birthday.

Most of you know I have been doing cooking segments on our local KUTV2 show called Fresh Living with Debbie Worthen and Casey Scott. They have been so good to me. I really enjoy doing this. It is through this that I got involved with Harmons Grocery Stores. Debbie Worthen encouraged me to enter a cooking competition called Harmons Sliced Cooking Competition. Harmons has hired Chef’s to teach cooking classes at some of their larger stores. After the Harmons Sliced Cooking Competition I went on to take several classes. I’ve become acquainted with most of the Chef’s that teach these classes. If you haven’t taken these classes you’re really missing out. I don’t care if you don’t know how to cook or if you’re very good at cooking. These classes will help. I feel like you can always learn a new way or just have a great time with other people that love to cook.

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Chef Jackie Dodart

The Iron Chef Look

Don’t you love the Iron Chef look

One day while at the Harmons Cooking School in Santa Clara, UT, I was asked by Chef Jackie Dodart if I would teach a Pie Cooking Class. I immediately accepted. I’ve taught cooking classes to several groups but not at Harmons Cooking School. Harmons takes everything up to the next level. When you say Harmons, you’re saying quality. They have my dream conditions for a cooking class. 5 different stations with highest quality cooking equipment and a grocery store right below with quality products.

Harmons Kitchen

Harmons Kitchen

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Let the fun begin!

One of my favorite items to teach would be pies. I love sharing any knowledge I’ve learned about baking pies. Not to brag but I have the best and easiest cream pie filling to go into an incredible pie crust. I have a secret ingredient that keeps your pie crust flaky. Also the best way to present this in a family party or gathering is what I call the Mini Pie Bar.

Toppings for Pie Bar

Toppings for Pie Bar

Think about your next Thanksgiving Feast or gathering. Instead of bringing out several full sized pies how about making mini pie crusts and letting the guests create whatever kind of pie they want.

Really instead of a full sized pie I start out with a small pie crust. It is the size of a cupcake. In fact I shape them in a cupcake liner. You can make these a few days before the party. My three fillings can be the creation of so many different flavors of pie. For this class I gave these ideas:

Coconut Cream: Coconut cream filling, top with whipped cream and toasted coconut. All in a flaky pie crust.

Almond Joy: Coconut cream filling and chocolate cream, top with whipped cream and glazed almonds. All in a flaky pie crust.

Banana Cream: Fold sliced banana into vanilla cream, top with whipped cream and garnish with banana chip. All in a flaky pie crust.

Divine Chocolate: Chocolate cream filling topped with whipped cream and shaved chocolate. All in a flaky pie crust.

Raspberry Cream: Vanilla cream, adding a layer of raspberry glaze, top with whipped cream and a fresh raspberry. All in a flaky pie crust.

German Chocolate: Chocolate cream filling topped with a coconut pecan flavored whipped cream and homemade English toffee. All in a flaky pie crust.

Thanks to the talented Harmons artist

Thanks to the talented Harmons artist

I have lots of people that support me all of them are amazing cooks. My aunt and uncle, John and Julie Black immediately offered to help me for this class. Julie took all the pictures for me. Because she was the photographer I have no picture of her to share. The hazards of being the photographer

John Black

John Black

Teaching other groups I would have to prepare extra pie fillings and crusts. It just takes too long to let everyone make pie crusts and pie fillings with one kitchen set up. Part of the class is observing with very little hands on. Being a creature of habit and not thinking about the fact that at Harmons Cooking School I have 5 cooking stations, yes I said 5 cooking stations. Well let’s just say I might have gone a little overboard. The day before I recruited the help of John and Julie to make over 100 mini pie shells along with a “few” pie fillings. I just had to be prepared for everyone to have pies to take home because I was sure they wouldn’t have time to prepare this during class. I was wrong and we had lots and lots of pies and fillings. Everyone went home with pie after pie after pie!

Everyone created successful recipes!

Lesson learned from this is, I didn’t need to prepare so many extras the day before. Everything could have been prepared the day of the class. Even though Chef Jackie knew that she let me do what I thought I needed to do. She’s amazing. She was right there to make sure this was a successful night. She arranged to have the Harmons artist created the most amazing board to show off the Mini Pie Bar. And she knew just how to arrange everything from the decorations to the recipe ingredients. Everything was perfect. Loved working with her.

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Previous created pie filling

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Just try to get me to talk without my hands

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I’m in trouble if someone ties my hands

Well the time arrived for me to teach the class. I started out teaching them the secret to making a cream pie that will still allow the pie crust to remain flaky after filling it.  And that secret ingredient is Cornaby’s Thick Gel. Cornaby’s Thick Gel acts as your thickening agent. We also have Cornaby’s Ultra Gel.

I use Cornaby’s Ultra Gel in the whipped cream. 1 tsp. in 2 cups of heavy whipping cream allows you to make your whipped cream before the big dinner and it won’t separate. I believe so much in this Utah product that I won’t use anything else when making pies. You can’t buy this product in a national chain grocery store. You can only buy them in one of the Utah Stores such as Harmons Grocery Store or Cornaby’s website.

I taught them how to make a cream pie filling in the Blendtec. This process is so easy and fast. I didn’t spend much time on the Blendtec because most of our guests didn’t have a Blendtec.

Recipe packet everyone takes home

Recipe packet everyone takes home

We proceeded to the stove top method for cream fillings.

I teach a slightly different method than other chef’s would use. I try to avoid problems with tempering the eggs. Tempering eggs can go bad very quickly.

However a mistake I did make was coming up with the method and then figuring out an easier way to make it.

Figuring out the easier way was good. Without going into the why and how I had the recipe with the extra steps printed for class. Part of my continuing education is to learn how to put together a website. Yes this is all me. When you see the flaws know I’m a work in progress. This is one of the hazards of not having a hired person to do your website. I would love to be able to blame someone else for this mistake but it was all ME! It still works great with the method I had written down but they remembered how I taught. I’m so happy they did. Since then I have went to the website and fixed that problem. If anyone from the class is reading. Please accept my apologies. It is fixed now. Click on the links to get the updated version.

Vanilla Cream Pie Filling Recipe

Chocolate Cream Pie Filling Recipe

Coconut Cream Pie Filling Recipe

Stove top method

Stove top method

No lumps happy dance!

All of us have a great time

All of us have a great time

Next we proceeded to demonstrating the mini pie crusts. I use my mother’s Never Fail Pie Crust recipe. Taking a small portion, rolling it out, cut with a 4 ½” round cookie cutter. Shape into a cupcake liner and bake.

Mom’s Never Fail Mini Pie Crust Recipe

Ready to demo pie crusts

Ready to demo pie crusts

As seen by TV screens

As seen by TV screens

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Flaky mini pie crusts

Lining up to create delicious pies

Lining up to create delicious pies

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So many pie crusts to fill

It was fun watching all different combinations they created. I can’t even remember all of them. But what I do remember was that this was a fun night with lots of fun people.

Please enjoy the pictures thanks to Julie Black.

I’m a huge fan of supporting local businesses. Harmons Grocery Stores rates among the best. I don’t care who you are, the second you walk into a Harmons Grocery Store you’re treated like family. Everyone is so friendly and ready to help. Harmons Grocery Stores also support local farmers and businesses like Cornaby’s. You will find things at Harmons that you can’t find at a national chain.

Disclaimer: I’m not an employee of Harmons or any other business or television show I promote. I don’t receive a check from any of these businesses and my website is not a money producing website. I started doing these things to go along with my hobby and love of cooking. I also believe you should continue to learn all your life. Let’s just call it my continuing education.

I have created and cooked food all my life. I really don’t remember when I didn’t cook. Being the oldest of 6 children I think it is part of the oldest child roles. But to be honest, it’s a family thing. Some of us specialize in sweet and some in the savory. Hopefully we will continue to pass this on.


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